Samsung still hasn’t said what caused its Galaxy Note 7 phone to explode, leading to an unprecedented cancellation of the entire product line this week.
But there are some indications that the company may have rushed replacement Note 7s to market following the first recall of the defective devices on September 15.
According to reports by Bloomberg and The New York Times, the original line of Note 7s had a battery manufactured by SDI, a Samsung subsidiary. After receiving dozens of reports that Note 7 phones were overheating or exploding, Samsung issued a formal recall. The company then decided to use batteries from the Chinese manufacturer Amperex Technology Limited in replacement Note 7s.
But the Amperex batteries didn’t solve the problem, and reports started popping up that even the replacement Note 7s were overheating and smoking. Most notably, a replacement Note 7 started smoking on a Southwest Airlines flight last week, forcing an evacuation before the plane could take off.
Samsung officially killed the entire Galaxy Note 7 line on Tuesday.
Early reports suggest the original run of SDI batteries were too large for the body of the Note 7, which caused them to become “pinched” and overheat or explode. Samsung’s solution was to replace the SDI batteries with Amperex batteries instead, but there’s no indication rigorous testing was done to make sure they were safe.
The replacement Note 7 phones with Amperex batteries were on sale within a week of the first recall. It’s that rush job that could’ve led to the overheating in the replacement devices. The batteries may not have been to blame after all, but instead the way they were squeezed into the phone.
A Samsung spokesperson said the replacement Note 7 batteries were made by a different manufacturer than the original devices and that the company is investigating what went wrong with the replacement phones. Samsung will announce the findings of its investigation in the coming weeks, the spokesperson said.